A poor financial aid package...ED

<p>I've heard that you shouldn't apply early decision if cost is a major concern. What really happens if you apply and get accepted early decision, but do not get a good financial aid package?</p>

<p>well if your school meets your EFC, then you attend the school, if it doesn't then you have a way out, but if cost is really a concern, why apply ED?</p>

<p>Depends on "good". The financial aid package is as the school defines it, not you. Once you are accepted ED (and before you send in your deposit), you will be placed on a list which is shared with other schools and, as part of a gentleman's agreement, other schools will not consider your application at all. Some schools, such as Columbia, say right on their website that they will RARELY release you to pursue other schools (they say they do that with only about two students a year), but only to apply to less costly schools (they explicitly say "like state universities".) I know of no school that will release you to pursue their direct competitors, and since so many of the better schools have so many qualified applicants, they would have no reason to go out of their way to consider yours.</p>

<p>In other words, if it is a concern, DON'T DO IT.</p>


<p>Mini explained it as well as I have ever seen it explained. You are giving up the option to compare financial aid packages when you apply ED. The situation with ED has been explained over and over. Yes, it is POSSIBLE to get out of ED. But it is also possible to get burned. Even kids who have a truly legitamate reason to back out of ED face that possibility because, frankly, if a school just drops your application, it is not easy to bet back into consideration. There is not discussion of that action--it just happens. Anyone who is released from the ED agreement has to aggressively let the other schools know the situation, and even then risk some shunning as no school likes kids who break this agreement.</p>

<p>Do you know what you can afford? Have you calculated your EFC based on a variety of calculators? You can also go directly to the financial aid office and the college and have a frank discussion. EFC calculators aren't an exact science and only give yo ua ballpark range. If you can afford the worst case scenario given by any of the respective calculators, you might be ok with ED. Sure, there may be other schools that will come up with packages offering even more aid than the minimum you need, but choosing colleges based on financial packages is a personal choice.</p>

<p>If you cannot afford your EFC then DO NOT apply ED because you are held to the decision if they meet your EFC whether or not they have offered all loans or not. Also, most parents hate those parent loans. Personally, I came right out and said we would not be getting any parent loans, but would do whatever we could to send our kids to the college they wanted short of that. Because of that no ED was done in our family and we are very happy because of it. </p>

<p>The ONE person I know who got in early decision and then did not go because of financial reasons is at a State School. I believe State schools do not care if you have gotten out of ED or not.</p>

<p>If financial reasons are a concern DO NOT DO IT! It is amazing how wonderful a school suddenly looks when comparing financial aid packages and they have given you all grant. In the big picture being strapped with thousands of dollars in loans right out of school compared to no loans at all is pretty convincing. Or, at least it should be. </p>

<p>I also think that many young people change their minds in the Spring of senior year. How sad to be locked into a situation. Unless you have no money issues and are absolutely sure about where you want to go don't do ED. ED is for the rich.</p>

<p>I don't agree that ED is always for the rich. Some parents have done a good job at saving for college, though they aren't rich. Some people, like me, aren't rich but life a lifestyle that is well below their income, giving them more disposable cash than others who have high mortagages, car payments, credit card debt, etc. I know lots of people who earn what I earn, which I guess is considered comfortable (but is far from RICH, to me) .....and can't afford to send their kids to college (unless it's a state school or the like) because they have a huge mortgage, $500+ mo. car payment, fancy-schmanzy clothes, country club membership, etc. Some people have more than one child in college, at once, which can really strain things. </p>

<p>I don't blame people who haven't saved for college. I haven't. I only started to earn really decent money within the last four years. Prior to that, I was paycheck to paycheck (always had huge tuition bills for son). I'm always afraid of losing my job and live in such a manner that I could sustain this lifestyle if I earned around $30k. </p>

<p>And, like so many others, I earn enough to make my EFC pretty substantial, but my disposable income allows for it. </p>

<p>My point is, not all ED applicants are rich. Some of us are used to just "making it work"....</p>

<p>I do agree with Citrus on this point- if you can't afford the estimated EFC (and use the worst case scenario), don't apply ED.</p>

<p>momsdream, I agree with you that E.D. is not only for the rich. We have many friends whose children applied Early and they are by no means rich. Many have been saving since their children were born, many are willing to borrow so that their children can go to college. But most have calculated what they are likely to get from a particular college and if the estimate is 'in the ballpark', then there's no reason for them not to apply Early, as far as financial reasons go. These considerations, obviously, are only for those who have identified one particular school as their first choice and which is a good fit. To say it's only for the rich is not accurate. Of all the E.D. kids I've known, I've never known ANY of them to change their minds by spring. For the right kid, and in the right situation, E.D. is a wonderful thing.</p>

<p>Same with us, momsdream. We live wayyy below our means in order to pay for our kids' schools. It's not a sacrifice, because we're basically not into "stuff" or "lifestyle" and we've brought our kids up with the same values. We also only had a higher income for a few years (lived in a 4 room apt. over a pizzeria till our D was 8), and our income is shooting back down now, because my H is going back to school to be a HS teacher. But luckily, our brief period of higher income coincided with the college years. So, no "leisure class" here.</p>